Chemical Weapons

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Chemical weapons as (WMD) originated from the World War I battlefields where chlorine and phosgene gasses were released from canisters in battlefields and dispersed by the wind (Gupta, 2009).  During the Cold War period, the U S and the Soviet Union stored huge volumes of this weapon. Iraq used these weapons in Iran in the 1980s when it used mustard gas and nerve agents against much Kurdish in Northern Iraq. Other examples of chemical weapons use involved the in 1994; there was sarin poisoning in Matsumoto and an attack on Tokyo subway in 1995 by the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult. These weapons are manufactured from poisonous chemicals that can kill when it enters the body. Most of them include nerve agents, choking agents, blister agents as well as blood agents.  Chemical agents are used as weapons through poisonous vapors, aerosols, liquids and solids with poisonous effects on life, plants, and animals. Signs of chemical weapon use include people facing difficulty in breathing; closing of coordination; eye irritation, nausea; burning sensation in the throat, nose, and lungs. Large numbers of dead birds and insects also indicate the use of a chemical weapon (Croddy & Wirtz 2005).

This weapon can be a weapon of choice where one cannot directly confront the opponent. When enemies are in trenches or an isolated and concentrated area, the chemical weapon can be the weapon of choice. Preparation against chemical attacks can include looking for protective gears such as respirators. Authorities can avail surgical masks t for the public. People can also avoid potential target places (Hoenig, 2002).  Protecting food reserves to avoid contamination can also be the best strategy to prepare for such an attack.  Organizing for emergencies such as first aid items is also vital. Recently chemical weapons were used in Syrian Civil War. This happened particularly in the deadliest attacks were at Ghouta in Damascus’ suburb in August 2013 as well as in Khan al-Assal in the suburbs of Aleppo suburbs in March 2013 (In Gill, 2015).

References

Croddy, E., & Wirtz, J. J. (2005): Weapons of mass destruction: An encyclopedia of worldwide   policy, technology, and history. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.

Gupta, R. C. (2009): Handbook of the toxicology of chemical warfare agents. London: Academic            Press.

Hoenig, S. L. (2002): Handbook of Chemical Warfare and Terrorism. Westport, Conn:      Greenwood Press.

In Gill, T. D. (2015): Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law: Volume 16.



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